If we ask you to picture a “dangerous workplace,” it is likely you will envision mining, logging or construction work. However, there are dangers in all varieties of work environments, including the basic office.

It might surprise you how common injuries are in offices. According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, office workers are almost three times more likely to suffer debilitating injury from a fall as compared to those who do not work in an office environment.

What causes so many falls? 

One of the biggest causes of falls in the office workplace is not paying attention to the surroundings. For example, a common injury results from one coworker leaving a drawer open in a hallway filing cabinet: this causes another person to trip. Building defects may also cause falls. For example, old carpet can sometimes get pulled up in the corners. This can cause unexpected divots in the floor, resulting in tripping.

How can we prevent falls? 

The best way is to make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and conscientious of others. If you do open a file cabinet in a walkway, make sure to close it when you are not standing right next to it. Additionally, make sure that you take the time to go fetch a step ladder when you need to get something off of a high shelf. Many office workers opt to stand on their chairs instead, and injury may result.

If you notice any defects in the building like loose carpet or uneven flooring, make sure to notify management as soon as possible.